Leadership Putnam is a personal development program designed to motivate participants to develop and enhance the quality of their leadership in addressing pertinent community needs. Established in 1990, the program has generated hundreds of graduates who have gone on to help the Putnam County, Tennessee, community to blossom and thrive.
Spurring Growth Since 1990
Leadership Putnam (LP) was created as the result of a joint task force put together by the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce consisting of Joe Albrecht, Jim Andrews and Al Enochs. LP was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organization in 1990, and its first class graduated the following year. Since that time, LP has been a stand-alone entity operating on community partnerships, program tuition, and fund-raising events. In July 2015, the Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce began administering and staffing LP.
Affecting Positive Change
Leadership Putnam (LP) provides in-depth seminars on a wide variety of community-related topics for its participants and challenges them to get engaged and affect positive change in Putnam County. Each year LP class members complete a series of projects to meet a need within the community and ultimately work toward improving our citizens' quality of life
The purpose of Leadership Putnam is:
- To identify potential and existing leaders in business, government and elsewhere in the community and to help them prepare for voluntary community leadership roles.
- To provide these leaders with a practical and sophisticated understanding of the Putnam County area's major problems and opportunities.
- To improve the communications network among leaders from disparate backgrounds and interests.
- To create a forum for persons of demonstrated commitment to the community to meet and exchange ideas.
- To stimulate increased leadership participation and commitment in the community.
Leadership Putnam Class Projects
Each year LP class members complete a series of projects to meet a community need and ultimately work toward improving the quality of life to our citizens. In order to graduate, the participant must have 20 personal points that range from sitting in on city council or county commission meetings, volunteering at a school event or non-profit, to taking a health initiative to better themselves through activity or scheduling a yearly checkup. Not only do class members have individual project points they are working to achieve throughout the year, but they also have a group project they are working towards. Group projects are assigned on the day of orientation based on a list of interests and personalities.
Education Day, Human Needs & Services, Environment & Agriculture Day, Economic Development Day, Local Government Day, State Government Day, Healthcare Day, and Quality of Life Day.
“Leadership Putnam has meant many things to me. I'm grateful that I actually had 2 years of experience with LP! I believe I am probably the oldest in the group but I never felt that way! Not only did I get to experience LP with my daughter, but I also gained so many new and wonderful friends along the way. (I'm pretty sure that I'll be adopting Mason!) I could list so many moments and memories that have greatly impacted me, but if I have to choose one, it would be that because of LP, I chose to run for a School Board position. In our monthly meetings, we met so many people who spoke about public service to the community. Since I was about to retire after 40 years in the school system, I was already thinking about how I wanted to spend my time moving forward. Leadership Putnam steered me toward public service. My knowledge and experience have always been in public education so when I was presented with the idea of running, it just made sense. I am a person who believes that God places people in our lives for a purpose and I truly believe that God placed all of us together in LP for a purpose. I hope that we all live out that purpose for the good of ourselves and in service to others.” – Jill Ramsey
“If not for Leadership Putnam, I would not have moved from my comfort zone and learned about several new local experiences our community offers nor would I have gotten to know those classmates who I didn’t already know. Leadership Putnam forges friendships across diverse industries and forms bonds that can help strengthen our community through the common purpose of our group projects.”- Jay Albrecht
“I cannot believe how much there is in Cookeville and Putnam County. It was very eye-opening. All of the activities monthly, we engaged in, were so diverse and the businesses were too. I’m very happy to have been a participant in Leadership Putnam. As a chamber ambassador, I’m thrilled to be part of this community. If I had not participated, I would not have gotten to know my classmates, nor the businesses/business owners/volunteers at the locations we visited or had a speaker from. As I say, you have to get off the beaten path to see where it leads and what you find. Do something different and learn.” – Lynn Scuderi
“It's not very often that you have an opportunity to meet with true leaders—the most innovative, enthusiastic, creative, and influential people throughout your community. I've learned so many functions that are essential to the growth and prosperity of myself, my business, and the citizens of this community. The most important and meaningful part of this experience is the relationships we built; if you want to see the best that Putnam County has to offer and the future of our magnificent county, engage and complete Leadership Putnam.” – Konstantin Yepifantsev
For more information, contact the LP Director Angie Wells